Endorsement: Hoefert for Mount Prospect village president
We have to say, our Editorial Board has been torn on the choices for mayor in Mount Prospect.
Three trustees from the village board are running to replace Arlene Juracek. She is a tough act to follow.
Each of the three has strengths. Each is imperfect.
The choices are one-term Trustee William "Bill" Grossi, a straightforward attorney who is not bashful or subtle about offering his opinions; Colleen Saccotelli, a trustee for six years who makes up in methodical preparation and hard work for what she may lack in flash; and banker Paul Wm. Hoefert, a stalwart institution of sorts who has served on the board for three decades, a self-styled advocate for the people all the while.
Grossi bubbles with ideas and personality, but we worry that his brashness could be counterproductive. Already he has called on two of the three candidates on the ballot for trustee to withdraw from the race. Given that one is sure to be elected and that even with a write-in candidate, both likely will be, that seems like a certain invitation to a poor start were there to be a Grossi mayoral reign.
The choice between Saccotelli and Hoefert is close one. Though significantly different in personality and style, both have been effective in the roles they play. And both will remain a part of village government, win or lose. Their trustee terms run another two years. (Which means one of the first jobs either would have as a new mayor would be to appoint what no doubt would be a friendly successor, subject to the board's confirmation.)
Saccotelli, 40, views herself as the candidate to reflect a new generation of village leadership and she pledges to increase the diversity of nominees for village boards and commissions, a crucial step in developing wide representation among Mount Prospect's future leaders.
She vows to provide adaptive leadership that puts a priority on increased community engagement, economic development and responsive government.
There is a lot of appeal in her candidacy and we are tempted by it.
But at the same time, we are concerned by the sudden loss of experience the village board is about to endure. Beyond Juracek's departure, the board will be swearing in three new trustees -- four if Hoefert or Saccotelli are elected mayor -- and to us, that puts a premium on Hoefert's 30 years of experience.
Two years ago, we thought perhaps it was time for change and we declined to endorse his trustee run. The voters thought differently, and frankly, that was a good thing.
If elected on April 6, Hoefert, 65, likely would, in fact, become the people's mayor, exercising an old-style personal connection with the public that Mount Prospect has not felt in years.
"During my time on the village board," he says, "we have accomplished a great deal ... economic development, flood control, downtown redevelopment and maintaining a strong fiscal position, all while keeping a solid sense of local community with a focus toward protecting our neighborhoods."
He believes in open government, transparency and common sense decision-making.
That sounds good to us. It's a close call, but we offer Hoefert our endorsement and our good wishes.